The Absolute No List

images-2

Hello Readers,

Today’s post is about your absolute no list. Why a no list instead of a yes list? What is a no list?

Unknown

Cheryl Richardson ( The Art of Extreme Self Care, 2009) teaches that extreme self-care requires some soul-searching, protecting your energy, your emotional well-being and honoring your values.  An absolute no list serves as a daily reminder of what you no longer do, and that protects your quality of life.  Take one week and watch which activities you no longer want to do or would like to give up one day. Notice the sources of frustration in your life and pay attention to how you feel in your body. Is there tightness in your jaw or neck or shoulders, butterflies in your gut or irritable moods? Use these examples to begin your list. There may be things that were ok to do in the past, but now drain you.  Take time to re-evaluate. Think about things you would like to stop doing. Maybe your tired of being responsible for cooking dinner every night and you’re ready to allow your teenagers to learn a new skill.

images-5

Review your absolute no list every day for 5 minutes. Spend  those minutes really using your imagination to visualize and feel as if your truly leaving these things behind. What does your body feel like without that source of stress of fear? Surely, you are worth 5 minutes a day to refuel.

Unknown-2

Here are some examples of an absolute no list:

I no longer jump out of bed in the morning. I give myself time to start my day more serenely.

I no longer deny myself quiet time.

I no longer hire anyone who treats me with disrespect ( i.e. a healthcare provider, a lawyer, a plumber)

I no longer throw away anything that can be recycled.

I no longer rush through my work day without eating lunch and taking a break.

I no  longer compromise my needs in order to keep the peace with someone.

I no longer keep clothes that will someday fit again.

images-4

This exercise may be difficult for some, but it will help you raise the standard of what you will and won’t tolerate in your life anymore. If you have trouble even creating a no list, it may mean that you’ve put your needs on the bottom of the priority list and now its time to put them on the top.

images

The list will tell you much about yourself. Remember to be gentle with yourself, emotions may arise such as agitation or feeling undeserving. These can be overcome and are a normal part of the process as you upgrade your life. This list may be uncomfortable and seem like you’d be acting entitled, or self-important. People who need to learn extreme self-care actually need to learn to feel more entitled. The word entitled has a negative connotation, so let’s reframe it. You’re entitled to take care of yourself, to a life that feels like you matter, to a life that reflects your values.

If you review your list and feel good about the rules you live by then its time for a celebration.

images-6

Posted in psychology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inspirational Words

6604701_orig

Posted in psychology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Support System

Hello Readers,

I want to write this post to let you know the community of support is here and to remind each of you that as behavior changes, anxiety may rise but eventually your feelings catch up with your behavior and all is well. Stay with it!  If anyone wants to leave comments on how things are going, we’re here to support you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let Me Entertain You !!!!!

Actually, let me disappoint you. Today’s the day to discuss practicing disappointing others. WHAT???

images-9

We all dislike being disappointed. We’ve all been disappointed and we’ve all disappointed others. Here are some reasons why people are afraid of saying no:

😦 I don’t want to feel guilty.

😦 I don’t know how to say no gracefully.

😦 I’m afraid of conflict.

😦 I want others to like me.

😦 I was raised to believe it’s better to give than receive.

Extreme self-care requires you to manage  or learn to manage, the inevitable anxiety that arises when you disappoint someone, or make someone mad, or hurt someone because you said no. This is really about breaking patterns of self deprivation. This is about setting limits and boundaries to protect your energy.

images-1

Once you’ve decided to set a limit, don’t backtrack. It will send mixed messages and teach others to doubt your word. You will need support until you become more comfortable with it.

images-7

Here are strategies to use when disappointing others in the process of taking care of yourself. The strategies are simple but not easy:

Buy time when a request is made of you. Let the person know you will get back to them and tell them upfront that you may not be able to do it.  You don’t need a week, sometimes it just requires a few minutes to get in touch with your gut feeling. Do things either because they bring you joy or fulfillment or because they strengthen your connection or show love to the other person. Do not do things out of guilt or obligation. This only builds resentment. If the answer is no, then be honest, use 1-2 lines only and if you truly regret having to say no, then say that to the person.  Be considerate but with a clear message that you need to say no. Be honest when saying no but don’t over explain. You do not need to defend yourself or debate your feelings. You can do this and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.

images-8

Posted in psychology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Extreme Self Care

Extreme!   This is a word often associated with something negative.

Self Care!   This conjures up ideas of miserable exercise and eating your veggies.

What if we changed our perception of Extreme Self Care?

I propose that Extreme Self Care become a new way of thinking and a new standard of living.  Over the next weeks, I will share some strategies to begin the process. The key word here is PROCESS. It won’t be something to achieve and then you never have to deal with it again. For many people, it will be a lifelong process. Sometimes  doing really well at loving yourself enough to take care of you and other times, returning to familiar patterns of caring for everyone else before you. The latter times are likely when feelings of burnout, resentment, irritability, stress, and tiredness will creep back in. Watch for these signs and  try to see them as a friend who is giving you a wake up call: get back on track taking care of the best thing in your life and the best thing in the lives of those around you. Yes, you guessed it… that would be YOU. There’s only one you.  Treat yourself well because you deserve the whole meal, not just crumbs of life.

images

Cheryl Richardson, author of  The Art of Extreme Self Care (2009) acknowledges an important lesson: The good girl role has the potential to rob you of your life. Has the noble role of caretaker become your identity or do you measure your self worth based on how much others like you? Now, of course, it’s wonderful to be helpful and caring. Those are lovely qualities and frankly, I think the world needs more of them. The message is about balance, it’s about your life reflecting your deepest values, needs and desires, it’s also about being as good to yourself as you are to others, lastly it’s about making choices from love and compassion instead of guilt and obligation. Please just keep an open mind. Cheryl writes “a great life starts with an open mind.”

Now on to it……

The first step is simple but not easy. This one change allows you to continue your life as you know it, saying yes and doing for others, being available for everyone without changing any of it. There will be no apparent behavior changes noticed by those around you. Remember, this first strategy is a simple act but not easy. Every time you pass by a mirror for the next 30 days, just glance into your own eyes and quietly say

* I love you [ insert your name here] *

Many people find it awkward and really uncomfortable at first but please keep it going. If this is too uncomfortable, instead say * I’m willing to learn to love you* when you look in the mirror. After only a short time, you’ll notice a kinder, gentler perspective emerging.

More ideas to come over the next weeks so stay with the program and leave comments for me and the other readers. We can create a  community that supports and celebrates one another.

self-love

Posted in psychology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joy

Hello Readers,

Joy makes us younger and increases the hormone DHEA (the youth hormone). Joy enhances immunity and changes metabolism. Let’s take a simple every day example. How do you hear people answer this question: How are you today?

I’m ok, not bad, getting by, I’m still standing…we just don’t hear often enough  –  I’m great today, even when someone is great, it gets minimized too often.

People are often afraid of Joy and don’t trust Joy. People are told  you’re having too much fun, hard work gets you to where you want. Napoleon Hill said ” thoughts have a peculiar quality of becoming their physical equivalent.” Did you know that studies have proven that thoughts have a measurable effect on the hydrogen-oxygen bond in water? Guess what? Our bodies are about 75% water, the earth is around 75% water. If you’re interested in learning more, start with Masaru Emoto’s work. He has shown that crystals (the bonds between hydrogen and oxygen) in water change formation based on positive or negative words or music.

Some psychology experts suggest we have 60,000 thoughts a day and more than 85% of those thoughts are repetitive and negative (Dr. Jonus Chong). If you want to work with affirmations, one key part is experiencing the feeling along with the affirmation.  For example, if the affirmation is  I am safe… then for those few minutes you must conjure up the feeling of safety. The feeling state gives the momentum to the thoughts.

There are 2 motivations for doing things in life:

1: doing things out of fear because we don’t want the consequences of not doing them

2. doing things we really want to do

Of course, we all must do things out of fear sometimes. I’m encouraging you to become aware of it. Life needs balance to provide  health : physical and mental health. A mindful approach is a good start.

Posted in psychology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Succeed !!!!

You will not succeed at doing what you want, you can only succeed at being who you truly are. When you honor who you are, then you will succeed in whatever resonates with it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment